As we transition into the later part of summer and the beginning of fall, the time comes to re-imagine our gardens. The first step, garden tools! They seem pretty simple, right?
Different materials, purposes, and dimensions determine what gardening tool to buy and give us a different perspective. Here’s a breakdown of the seven common gardening tools.
This garden tool attaches to your spigot and gives you accessibility to different areas of your yard. Water hose lengths tend to fall between 25-100 feet and the most common inner diameter is 5/8 inches. The bigger the diameter, the more water the hose carries. The length of the hose determines the price and weight.
The three common materials you’ll find for water hoses include:
The least expensive hose material and most lightweight material
It can’t sustain as much wear and tear as rubber or polyurethane
This material works if budgeting and light-duty gardening are your priorities
The strongest material but the most expensive and heaviest
Able to hold hot water
Rubber material less likely to kink and deteriorate.
Better for multipurpose and heavy-duty tasks
Combines vinyl and rubber
The most reasonably priced
Combines rubber’s flexibility and durability and vinyl’s lightweight qualities
No matter the material, a hose fulfills the same general purpose for your gardening needs. Burst pressure ratings determine the amount of water pressure a water hose withstands until splitting. A lower quality hose ranks around 200 psi (pound per square inch) while a higher quality ranks around 500 psi. Water pressure gauges measure the amount of pressure from the spigot, so pick a hose with a burst pressure rating four times the pressure of your spigot.
Every garden hose needs a spray nozzle. A nozzle attaches to your hose, providing different spray patterns. The three most common nozzle materials include metal, plastic, or a hybrid.
Metal is the most popular and highest quality material. Plastic saves money but generally gives poorer quality due to low water pressure abilities and sun erosion. A hybrid nozzle saves you money by combining a metal nozzle and lightweight plastic nozzle.
The six common styles of nozzles include:
- Pistol Grip
This common type of nozzle typically uses a hybrid material. Hold the nozzle in your hand and press down your palm to press the trigger. The further you press down, the greater flow of water.
The dial sits at the front of the nozzle to change the spray pattern, with an average of six different patterns. Examples include jet, cone, and mist. This nozzle covers diverse watering needs.
Wands have a long stem that works for hard-to-reach areas of a garden. If bending over hurts, this works well. Some water wands include their stop valve at the bottom of the wand for easier use.
A fireman nozzle delivers a high volume of water at high pressure. Many people use this nozzle for washing cars or driveways rather than in the garden. This nozzle works in small areas that require strong pressure or a large area requiring a consistent mist of water.
Usually made of brass or zinc, this nozzle satisfies simpler garden needs without extra frills. Brass is the strongest material which makes traditional nozzles desirable.
A soaker provides a slow drip and not a traditional spray like other nozzles. This works great in gardens because of its ability to water deeply and tend to more sensitive plants. It minimizes water runoff, as well.
This garden tool cultivates soil and removes weeds with a pulling, chopping, or back-and-forth motion, depending on the type. A few types include:
- Paddle or Draw
- Collinear or Onion
- Warren or Dutch
The most common type, this style uses a pullback or chopping motion.
The end piece resembles a saddle stirrup and uses a back-and-forth motion to dig out weeds without ruining the soil.
The long, thin paddle fits in narrow spaces and uses a chopping and pulling motion.
The flat or spade blade sits at a 90-degree angle to fit in tight spaces or dig out difficult weeds.
Popular types of shovels include:
- Lawn/Leaf Rake
- Bow/Garden Rake
- Garden Pick
- Chemical Sprayer
Meant for scooping and moving loose or large amounts of material but not great for digging material.
The sharp tip and squared sides make clean trenches and shallow lines for garden beds.
The narrow sides and rounded tip achieve more precise spot work for flower beds and transplanting small plants. A drain shovel also digs narrow channels for irrigation work and pipes.
This style refers to the size instead of the purpose. A handheld shovel comes in different designs but usually is meant for smaller tasks in the garden, like creating holes or repotting.
Most of us recognize a lawn leaf but may not know the other distinct type of rake.
Characterized by long, fanned-out tines, a leaf rake is designed to pick up leaves and debris without damaging grass or soil.
The short and wide-set tines move, spread, or level soil. This style moves heavier gardening material and works best with heavy-duty projects.
Garden Pick / Chemical Sprayer / Wheelbarrow
These three gardening tools are easier to explain. Let’s break them down.
A pick works the soil in a garden, usually sticking to confined areas, shallow planting, and cultivating. Outside of the garden, this tool can grab and hook small items with precise positioning.
Just like it sounds, a chemical sprayer sprays a variety of chemicals or liquids, like pesticides and herbicides, in areas like agriculture, sanitation, and janitorial work.
Wheelbarrows typically come in steel or plastic. Steel bears more weight for heavy-duty jobs involving rocks, bricks, or large plants. Although plastic costs less, it can crack from too much weight or extreme temperatures. They are better for carrying mulch, fertilizers, and similar gardening materials.
A wheelbarrow’s volume label tells you how many cubic feet it holds. Typical garden wheelbarrows hold 3 cu ft but they range from two to six. Before picking out a wheelbarrow, determine the size of your typical yardwork.
Most gardening materials, like soil and mulch, are measured in cubic yards and wheelbarrows measure in cubic feet. Luckily for us, the math is pretty simple. One cubic yard = 27 cubic feet.
Check out HomElectrical’s website for all of these garden tools and more!